Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research (ACPR) is a not-for-profit research think-tank that works on public policy issues in Sri Lanka with a special focus on issues affecting the Tamil polity in the island. ACPR is registered as a Company (Guarantee) Ltd with the Registrar of Companies and officially commenced operations in August 2016. ACPR is based in Jaffna but intends to work throughout the North-East. Its intellectual and activist resources are primarily drawn from academics attached to universities in the North– East, activists living and working in the North-East, and the Tamil diaspora. ACPR is an independent non-partisan organisation and does not associate itself with any other organisation or political party. The vision of ACPR is the creation of a politically, socially and economically just pluri-national Sri Lanka. The mission of ACPR is to be an active contributor of informed and research-based activism within the Tamil polity, to report on public policy issues that are of special relevance to the North-East of Sri Lanka, to create internal capacity for autonomy and self-government in the North-East and to contribute critically towards justice, accountability and sustainable peace in Sri Lanka.
ACPR aims to fill a critical need for a think-tank that will report and present analyses on matters to a political solution, accountability, justice and reconciliation initiatives from a Tamil perspective. It also is interested in institutional capacity building within the Tamil polity that will aid in the process of democratisation of Tamil political and social spaces. Post-war civil society institution building in the North-East is critical for deepening the democratic and social discourse culture of the war-affected region and ensuring active participation of the war-affected Tamil community in political and civic processes. ACPR is conceived by its founders as an institution building exercise in post-war Sri Lanka in light of the above understanding. Key to deepening democracy in the Tamil community is also addressing intra-Tamil social forces of oppression such as caste and gender inequality. We also think that it is important to build a plural and non-hierarchical political space in the North-East where all its constituent communities feel accommodated. In this regard ACPR considers it important to build Tamil-Muslim people to people relations as key to long standing peace in the region. ACPR’s work will strive to create such a plural political space in the North-East and address issues of social and economic justice. In brief, the establishment of ACPR will be vital to the articulation of the aspirations of the Tamil polity in Sri Lanka and supportive of much-needed rational, strategic and principled articulation and activism. But it will also be vital in expanding the democratic space within the Tamil community. ACPR will operate to produce the kind of research, programmes and scholarship that can enable these types of work.
Priority Focus Areas of ACPR and Work:
This section provides an overview of the priority focus areas of ACPR and work:
a) Areas of Interest:
- Accountability and Justice
- On-going human rights violations in the North-East of Sri Lanka
- Constitutional reform towards finding a solution to the National Question
- Capacity building for autonomy/self-government
- Social and economic justice in the North-East
b) Types of work:
- Capacity Building – provision of training on transitional justice and constitutional processes, as well as processes of self-governance, targeting civil society organizations, activists, victim-survivors, and communities based in the North-East
- Research and Advocacy: (1) Briefs/Analytical Reports – on matters of interest such as land rights, militarization/security-sector reform, constitutional reform processes, etc; and (2) Documentation – mapping and contribution to documentation on the above listed priority areas
- Public Outreach – public discussions/ seminars in Tamil and English – on the above listed priority areas